Restaurants sales data shows increases in March

Restaurant sales increased at the end of the 2010's first quarter Likely spurred by some indicators of an economic rebound, newly released restaurant sales data for the end of 2010’s first quarter show significant improvements that may indicate consumers are not as reliant on debt consolidation tactics as they once were.

The latest Restaurant PerformanceIndex released by the National Restaurant Association last week saw a notable increase of 1.4 percent to hit 100.5 in March compared to the previous month’s figures.

The monthly increase in the index above 100 for the first time in 29 months and to its highest level since September 2007.

"The RPI’s solid performance in March was driven by improvements among both the current-situation and forward-looking indicators," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association. "Restaurant operators reported net gains in both same-store sales and customer traffic in March, the first time in 31 months that both indicators stood in positive territory."

Additionally, the NRA’s Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures, hit 99.0 during March, a 2.4 percent increase from February’s figures. While same-store sales and traffic indicators increased during the month, labor and capital expenditure indicators continued to lag and decline.